Judge Rules Walmart Violated Minimum Wage Laws, Stiffed Truckers Out Of Millions

The Fresno Bee Reported on Tuesday that U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston has ruled that Walmart broke California’s minimum wage law when the company failed to pay its drivers for all the tasks they do. The May 28th ruling argued that “under California law, the drivers must be paid for all the time that they were subject to Walmart’s control”.

The Fresno law firm filing the suit on behalf of the truck drivers, noted that they were not compensated for a number of tasks performed, including waiting in line to load or unload cargo, washing and fueling their trucks, and filling out federally mandated trip slips. Illston found Walmart in violation of the law because they designated these required tasks as “unpaid activities”.

Walmart could end up owing between 100 and 150 million dollars in back pay and penalties as a result of the ruling. Despite being found guilty of wage theft, Walmart company spokesman Randy Hargrove is continuing to deny the claims. He argues that Walmart pays their truck drivers well and he insists, despite the ruling, that “there has been no finding that any Walmart driver has not been paid minimum wage for each hour worked”.

Walmart attorneys challenged the ruling with deliberately obtuse arguments mocking the concept of paying truck drivers for every task. The attorneys argued:

Does the Labor Code require drivers to be separately paid for putting a key in the ignition or while sitting at a stop light?

The lawyers’ feeble attempt to deflect the issue away from wage theft simply makes the company look miserly. Truck drivers probably regard putting the key in the ignition and stopping at traffic signals as part of driving, but asking drivers to be paid while cargo is loaded and unloaded is a reasonable request.

Naturally, unloading a loaded truck takes longer than inserting a key into an ignition switch, and workers should be entitled to compensation while they are still on the clock. loading or unloading freight. The judge’s ruling should be applauded, and Walmart needs to compensate their truck drivers with the back pay they have earned.

17 Replies to “Judge Rules Walmart Violated Minimum Wage Laws, Stiffed Truckers Out Of Millions”

  1. I read an article last year about the Sheer Size of Wal-Mart and it was STUNNING! If it were a country,Their economy, If I remember correctly, would be the 17th largest in the world. They have the worlds largest trucking fleet. Their computer network is bigger than the Pentagon. Think about THAT!

  2. It’s to the point where Wal-Mart screwing its employees isn’t even news. How much money does the Walton family need?

  3. I actually like and shop at Wal-Mart. I DON’T like the way they conduct themselves though. I just want to be clear-I am MANY things. But I’m NOT a hypocrite. I hate hypocrites as much as I do lawyers.

  4. Exactly. How much money does Mitt need? How much does any millionaire need? Does a CEO taking millions in bonuses even think about the regular guy trying to keep food on the table, save for his kids’ college, or driving a 10 year old car? They used to. Not any more. The rich are greedy, miserly, and no friend to the average American.

  5. Well, Sally, Sadly I have to. The prices are what we can “Barely Afford” and that’s the truth. As progressive as I and my wife are, we can’t shop on “Principle” living on $21,000 a year.

  6. For my part, I have had to go there once a month for outdoor cat kibble and multigrain scratch feed, because, since our local Fred’s went out of business, no one else carries it for what I can afford to pay. My own groceries come primarily from Winn-Dixie and Bravo, and sometimes Publix and Save-a-Lot.

  7. Truck drivers in the US don’t get paid unless the truck is moving. So if they wait 5 hours or 5 days for a trailer to get loaded it’s “on duty” and “unpaid.”

  8. I would think it would depend on your contract. If you’re an hourly employee, you’re paid by the hour to do whatever. If you work for a trucking company and that is their standard pay structure, you should know about it before accepting the job. But the truck driver for a trucking company paid by the mile probably doesn’t earn minimum wage.

  9. Please have some compassion for people who are trying to scrape by on very little. Evidently you are fortunate enough economically to be able to shop at stores other than Walmart, which is great. However, when people are trying to live on about $400 a week and have rent, electricity, insurance, clothing (even thrift stores cost), phone and computer service, and all those surprise expenses, such as an abscessed tooth, to contend with, Walmart at least gives them the option to eat.

  10. Support the workers & drivers, not the corporation.

    The walmart predatory practices kill the independents everything, we must find ways to get around the monster or do without their services.

  11. How Your Tax Dollars Subsidize Walmart Executives’ Paychecks
    The Huffington Post | By Jillian Berman Posted: 06/04/2014
    Over the past six years, Walmart has cut its tax bill by $104 million thanks to a loophole in the corporate tax code that lets companies deduct the cost of performance-based pay for executives. That’s according to a report released Wednesday by Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies, a think tank opposed to “concentrated wealth” and “corporate influence.”
    During that time, executives took home $298 million in performance-based pay, the study shows.
    Some of that pay came despite dubious performance: Walmart’s U.S. same-store sales, a key measure of retail health, have dropped for five quarters in a row. And Walmart executives have blamed at least some of the bad performance on cuts to government assistance to its low-income customers.
    America’s richest family, worth more than $100 billion, has exploited a variety of legal loopholes…

  12. John: I live on less then that per year, and will NOT shop at walmart. Would rather shop where the quality of ALL product are better. Walmart can say, they are paying more per hour, but that is NOT enough for me.
    Besides, the Walmarts of the world have way more then they need, what do they DO for others???? Kind of like the Koch’s both family’s are rich beyond belief. Do they CARE about anything except the all mighty dollar? Not that I have noticed!

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